the art of “in progress”

I enjoy taking “in progress” photographs of my art as I’m making it, and sometimes I’m very good about stopping for a few minutes to take a quick photo. At other times I get completely engrossed in the art and neglect the documentation.

I’m learning that, like with most things, there’s an art to capturing a comprehensive view of art work in progress.

In my last post I shared the outline drawing I had started and planned to paint in.


As you can see, the painting is now finished. I had fully intended to take in progress photos but didn’t get around to it until the painting was finished. Oh well.

I started another painting immediately after finishing the last one, and before I had a chance to photograph the outline, I already started painting it in. Oh well again.


My intention is to photograph this at a few more stages before the final, but we’ll see what happens.

I realize that I have to be focused on my goal before I start painting. If I’m going to stop at intervals to take photos, I really should have my camera out and a photo area cleaned up and ready before I sit down to paint. Otherwise the effort of doing so while I’m already painting usually feels like too much of a bother. I’ll try this out to see if it will yield more step by step photographs. Wish me luck!

Another thing I realized while painting the pinks and reds, is that I think I’m trying to use watercolor more like gouache. I really laid it on thick, trying to get bright, vibrant hues, and I know that traditionally watercolor is intended to soak into the paper more. Maybe I just still have a lot to learn, or maybe I should stop painting on bristol, but I don’t necessarily mind the way I’ve painting. I like the texture of the thicker paint, but I wonder if there’s a more economical way to achieve similar results.

I haven’t used acrylics in a while, and even when I did it was for color studies in college, so maybe I should unearth them, try them out again, and see if they will fit the bill.

9 Replies to “the art of “in progress””

  1. You could try a medium like aqua pasto or the modeling paste from Schmincke:

    or W&N’s Aquapasto:
    Their texture medium might be an option too:

    I think they will give you more of the effect you are looking for if you want to add more body to your watercolours. 🙂

    1. very cool, thanks for the links. i hadn’t heard of Aquapasto, texture medium or modeling paste. I knew about acrylic mediums, but hadn’t considered that there would be options for watercolors!

    1. thanks! color is one of my favorite things to explore, and I really enjoy seeing how you use color to complete your line drawings.

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